Photos and Article by Magdalena Knapp, Editor
There are still some topics in our 21st century society that make people feel uncomfortable, like disabilities, mental illnesses, stomach issues or the little itching “down there”. We have to start somewhere to break the silence, and there can be no better month to do so than April, International STD awareness month. So let’s do it, let’s talk about STDs!
We all know what STDs (sexual transmitted diseases) are, but not everyone knows exactly how many STDs exist, how one can get infected, and what the symptoms are. Dr. Tami Eggleston, professor of Sport Psychology at McKendree University, tries to educate students every year about STDs in a funny and refreshing way. Her “Sex Skits” are always a highlight in the spring semester.
Dr. Eggleston reminded me of Oprah Winfrey as she was announcing the program for the evening at 1828. She introduced each STD by giving small hints to the audience, which had to guess which STD she was talking about. After guessing the right one, Dr. Eggleston threw candy into the audience while yelling “You get an STD, and you get an STD – everyone gets an STD!” The students were on fire!
The general idea of the Sex Skit is to inform students about the variety of sexual transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, genital worms, chlamydia and many more. Students in Dr. Eggleston’s class prepare short scenes about each STD and perform them in front of an audience. The Sex Skit is open to all the people on campus. At the end the audience can decide which STD-scene their favorite was.
Each scene was different. One group decided to sing a song about herpes and its symptoms. Another group took the audience into a romantic restaurant scene with a couple affected by genital worms – yummy!
The gale of laughter that filled 1828 that night showed that everyone had a lot of fun, even though the topic was a serious one. Every year in the United States more than 20 million people report being affected by some kind of STDs (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015).
If you want more information about STDs, or would like to have a one-on-one talk with a nurse, feel free to contact McKendree Health Services at 618-537-6503. Their hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 8:00a.m to 2:00 p.m.